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Showing posts from January, 2011

Love and Respect

Emerson Eggerich's book entitled Love and Respect hits a note with married couples, especially those dealing with issues that every couple face. His basic premise is that men desire respect from their wives and women want love from their spouses. Respect for men is something that is taken very seriously. Eggerich notes on p. 49 from his research that "I would rather live with a wife who respected me but did not love me than live with a wife who loved me but did not respect me." What I take this to mean is that at the core of men is a sense of being needed, of feeling like they matter in a relationship. Whereas for women, the primary call is that they be loved, not just physically, but through all the little things that are meant by love. This carries with it the idea of remembering special occasions, taking care of things around the house, doing the unnoticed things without complaining.

Eggerich seems to be focused mainly in the whole book on how men can be respected by…

Amazing Grace

The new book Amazing Grace by Timothy George, dean of Beeson Divnity School, is a wonderfully clear and thought provoking presentation on the theme of grace in the Bible. Even more, Dr. George unpacks the doctrines of grace in a way that both those familiar to Reformed theology and those who are not can easily learn something. Dr. George starts out the book identifying what grace really is: God's Riches at Christ's Expense (20). He goes onto make the points that grace really begins with God, not just in the idea of grace but in the activity of grace, God is the one who initiates grace (20). Dr. George then goes onto posit that God's grace is both inexhaustible and at Christ's expense, for grace cost the Father his Son, even his Son's death on the cross (21). As Dr. George continues throughout the chapter entitled Our Gracious God he mixes church history, theological vision, and practical application in talking about grace. At the end of this chapter, the author cal…

A Middle Road through the Forest

Argumentative, belittling, name-calling, these are only a few words that describe the modern situation in the church between liberals and conservatives. Church councils and sessions are battling alike on issues of human sexuality, Scripture, mission, and the church's posture toward the world. Ken Howard, in his new book entitled Paradoxy: Creating Christian Community Beyond Us and Them has been through the same experience of infighting and frustration. Yet, he seeks to provide a way for both liberal and conservative alike to live under the love of Christ and seek one another's good. What I appreciate about this book is Ken's humble witness that the love of Christ compels us to not only stop our ridiculous behavior towards those who have different opinions than us, but that we might learn a lot from our brothers and sisters on the other side of the fence.

He starts out the book with a discussion of paradigms. "Paradigms are the conceptual models we've developed to…

Radical Living

Thanks go to Waterbrook Multnomah Press for the copy of this book to review.
David Platt, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills has written an eye-opening book about not only how the American Dream is counter to the good news of Jesus Christ, but how following Jesus calls us to radically abandon our former notions of money, success, and church. He begins the book asking two questions that set the tone for the rest of the book: "Was I going to believe Jesus and Was I going to obey Jesus" (3). The second question is the harder one that Platt discusses throughout this book. Throughout the book he uses personal stories of his church family, biographical insights in Christian missionaries (Elliots, David Brainerd, John Paton) to make the point that living the gospel in one's life means dying to the self-congratulation of material overabundance and seeking to impact the world around us.

I would say that this book is more of a challenge to those who have become complacent in thei…

Lessons from Narnia

Carl McColman, a popular writer of topics such as mysticism, Celtic Wisdom, and spiritual disciplines has just written a book on spiritual lessons from C.S. Lewis's Narnia. In this book, McColman seeks to mine the riches of the The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, one of Lewis's book in the Narnia series, for spiritual lessons for todays seekers of wisdom. He states early on in the book that, "By contrast, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is not directly related to any stories in the Bible. Even so, it may be the most useful of the seven Narnia books, for it is the one that most directly maps out the contours of the Christian spiritual life" (x). MCColman tries to bring out the succesive stage of the spiritual life which are found in the story of the Voyage.

McColman signals in the first chapter that Eustace, the main character in the story is summoned to Narnia alongside Edmund and Lucy without his liking. Mr. McColman goes on to relate this to the journey of the spiritual…

A Man of Many Stripes

Kevin Belmonte is known for his penetrating analysis of figures such as William Wilberforce. In his new book on the life and impact of G.K. Chesterton he brings together the literary genius of Chesterton alongside the spiritual discernment of such a figure. Yet, he does not leave us with a dry, over monotonous biography, but a glimpse into the person of Chesterton as much as the myth. His early years were sought with a radical desire to both read, write, and to verbally spar with his friends. Belmonte writes, "This precocious boy was learning passages of Shakespare by heart, was profoundly influenced by reading George MacDonald's classic fantasy tale The Princess and the Goblin..." (15). Yet, Chesterton did not do all that well in school at first, and as Belmonte indicates, he was more of the type to plod his own course of studies.

The book goes on to explore Chesterton's writings, his critical biography of Charles Dickens, his work on the Robert Browning and his kee…

The Next Christians

This book was provided by Waterbrook/Multnomah Press and the Blogging for Books program to review.
Gabe Lyons, one of the authors of UnChristian has just written a provocative book entitled *The Next Christians: How a New Generation is Restoring the Faith.* The main thesis of the book is that no longer can America be called a Christian nation anymore. Even though our country has many deep roots historically in Christianity, we have become a land of spiritual seekers who find their practices outside the more traditional religions (27). In recognizing the truth of our cultural and spiritual climate, Lyons points to the idea and practice of being restorers, that is those who "seek to mend the Earth's brokenness" and "They don't separate from the world or blend in; rather, they thoughtfully engage" (47). What does it mean to thoughtfully engage the world? None other than living out the gospel story in our own lives through a sense of understanding the fallen wo…